December 2021

December 2021 Newsletter

This desk, this view. As I’ve said countless times before, there is nowhere else that grounds me as much as being at my small desk overlooking Skagit Bay in Northwest Washington. Not that I don’t relish time at the ocean at Montauk, N.Y, cruising the Salish Sea, hiking the Sonoran Desert, traveling (remember traveling?), gardening, quilting, entertaining—all of it, and more—but at my desk, my shoulders relax, my breathing evens out, and I feel wholly and unequivocally at home.

You’d be right to assume that the writing life is solitary, but it’s not lonely. Long days at my desk are filled with other worlds and other lives—with characters that are as real as you or me (to me, at least!)

As I write characters’ stories, I ask universal questions:

  • Are my characters good stewards of the earth and their time on it? Of their children? Their relationships? Of their talents and gifts?
  • What can my characters do to bridge differences between diametrically opposed factions? Heal wounds? Foster unity?
  • How can my characters affect change in the world they live in? What will it cost them?

Of course, I ask myself the same questions as I write.

My goal in all of this, the writing life? To harness universal themes that bind us all, more alike than different in the ways that matter most: a sense of belonging, justice, acceptance, redemption, peace, forgiveness, and love.

Publishing News

Hardland (She Writes Press 2022) is in its final edits, so please send chocolate!

Manuscript goes to the publisher just after New Year’s with a September 13, 2022 release date. In the spring, I’ll have a cover reveal and first paragraph reveal in the newsletter, in addition to news about early reviews and launch events. As they say in the advertising business, stay tuned.


As promised, here’s a SNEAK PEEK at my fourth (not-yet-named) novel, based on a short story I wrote during my senior year at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts in a creative writing seminar taught by the late Robert Taylor of The Boston Globe about husband/wife protagonists harboring dark secrets. Set during the Great Depression in Western Nebraska, I picture the story unfolding on the farm where my husband spent childhood summers with his great aunt and uncle (we stopped there unannounced on our cross-country research trip for Answer Creek and were invited in the supper!) Over the next few months, I’m in the reading/research stages—one of my favorite parts of novel writing. More news in upcoming newsletters, including a contest to name two of the characters.


Click here to fill out my contact form to enter into a giveaway to WIN A NEW YEAR’S GIFT BASKET for yourself or a loved one. Treat yourself to locally sourced coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and sweets (and a recipe or two) to ring in the New Year.

Recent Five Star Reads

The following titles are from Incline Village Flip & Sip Book Club near Lake Tahoe. I had a delightful Zoom book club event with this group last month, thanks to boating friend Julie Tice. Here are some of their recent favorites:

The Island of Sea Women, by Lisa See

Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty

Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

I am a Pilgrim, by Terry Hayes

The Nine: The True Story of a Band of Women Who Survived the Worst of Nazi Germany, by Gwen Strauss

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson

Wishing you and yours a lovely holiday season.

Until then, Happy Reading!


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